[SA Business Week] Key sectors appointments and a busy air route
October is already proving to be a great month for the South African business and economy, maybe even greater. With only a week into the month, three South Africans have been appointed for senior positions in the ICT, aviation and engineering sectors. A domestic air route has also been ranked among the world’s top ten busiest routes.
Other business news that have hit the South African headlines this week include the unveiling of an engineering center of excellence by Sierra Monitor Corporation (SMC), the introduction of a mobile app by MasterCard to ease payments, the launching of Yoco Capital and the establishment of a Sustainable Development Goals regional office. The week has also seen the South African flight route being named among the 10 busiest routes in the world, with the food and beverage sector proving to drive remarkable economic growth in the African market.
In the new appointments, James Gabriel Claude was appointed as the new CEO of the Global Voice Group, an IT company. Mr. Claude is succeeding Mr. Parker, who has served as the company CEO for over seven years and will now remain actively involved as a Board member. With over 25 experience in the aviation and energy industries, Wrenelle Stander was appointed as the Executive in charge of Comair's airlines division. She will be in charge of Comair's two airline brands, kulula.com and British Airways. This last appointment was made to Engineer Paul Ssali. He was appointed to be a member of the Engineers Without Boarders SA's Board of Directors, where he will play key roles such as planning, recruiting, and managing amongst others.
Sierra Monitor Corporation, a global technology company announced the formal incorporation of Sierra Monitor South Africa. The formal incorporation of Sierra Monitor South Africa which has marked yet another milestone in Sierra Monitor’s growth and evolution, will now be able to provide engineering and customer support services to SMC worldwide. Apart from that, both the employees and the company will benefit because the corporate objectives will now be aligned towards continued growth and focus on ICT engineering global excellence.
Still in ICT, MasterCard has introduced its global digital payment service EasyPay to the South African market. EasyPay is a mobile app that enables the customers to make their payments with a lot of ease. By using EasyPay, the customers will now be able to buy prepaid utility services and/or pay their accounts from approximately 600 bill issuers. In order to use the service, customers must download the app and register.
In the recent times, South African Fintechs have recorded immense growth in the industry, setting the bars very high in that sector. One such fintech is Yoco. Following the success of its point-of-sale payment service, which is now being enjoyed by over 28,000 small businesses, Yoco, has now launched Yoco Capital, which will provide small businesses with fast and efficient access to a cash advance.
Unlike traditional business loans where there is an interest rate charge attached to a specific repayment period, Yoco Capital's innovative model will only have one transparent fixed fee which the customers will be aware of beforehand. There will also be no late charges or other unexplained hidden charges. The customers will pay back through small automatic deductions that will be processed every time they swipe using their Yoco card machine. The deductions will be calculated based on a fixed percentage of every card transaction that is processed, until the balance is paid off.
With the aim to support and enable the countries in the South African region achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the SDG Center for Africa has added a sub-regional center of excellence in Lusaka, Zambia. The government of Zambia, which signed the agreement on establishing the Southern African center on 23 September 2018, will provide the facilities as well as services and it will operate under the oversight of the SDGC/A headquarters in Rwanda.
Looking into South Africa’s air transport, a report released this week by Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) stated the Cape Town - Johannesburg route to be the 9th busiest routes between two airports in the world, having recorded a total of 31 914 flights in 2017.The route has beaten the one between Beijing - Shanghai in 10th place with 30 029 annual flights. The busiest route in 2017 was between Jeju, an island off the coast of South Korea, and Seoul's Gimpo International Airport with 64 991 flights. The report also said that the aviation industry in SA supports about 472 000 jobs and contributes about $9.3bn to the country's GDP.
Last but not least, in the food and beverage sector, South Africa has the most advanced and refined food and beverage market in the continent. This is according to a report by Frost & Sullivan Company. The company believes that by the year 2020, the South Africa food and beverage sector will have an estimated growth of between 4-7%. This is because the agricultural, agro-processing and food and beverage sectors provide an abundance of opportunity for investors, domestic and new players.
The report goes ahead to say that this will be made possible because the South African government, The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Trade and Investment in South Africa (TISA), have already identified these sectors as a main focus for local manufacturing opportunities, import substitution, employment, export and economic growth.